Argued February 10, 2015.
On the briefs: Steven C. Peterson, Esq., West Rockport, for appellant Andrew J. Kierstead.
Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Donald W. Macomber, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine.
At oral argument: Steven C. Peterson, Esq., for appellant Andrew J. Kierstead.
Donald W. Macomber, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State of Maine.
Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, and JABAR, JJ.
[¶1] Andrew J. Kierstead appeals from a judgment of conviction of murder, 17-A M.R.S. § 201(1)(A) (2014), entered in the trial court ( Hjelm, J. ) after a jury trial. Kierstead argues that the court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement officers in the hours following the murder. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment.
[¶2] On October 10, 2012, a Knox County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Kierstead with knowing or intentional murder. 17-A M.R.S. § 201(1)(A). Kierstead pleaded not guilty, and moved to suppress the statements he had made on September 27, claiming that they were involuntary due to his intoxication and emotional state at the time. We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the court's order. State v. Collier, 2013 ME 44, ¶ 2, 66 A.3d 563.
[¶3] On September 27, 2012, Kierstead went to Richard Mills's house to buy methadone, which he regularly purchased illegally from Mills. Kierstead had been drinking alcohol since early that morning, and he continued to drink at Mills's house. After Mills refused to provide Kierstead with methadone because Kierstead owed him money from prior drug purchases, Kierstead lured Mills outside on the pretext that he needed help with his truck. Kierstead shot Mills with a twelve-gauge pump-action shotgun several times at close range, including four times in the back. After the shooting, Kierstead swallowed Mills's Vicodin pills in an attempt to commit suicide.
[¶4] After ingesting the pills and passing out for a period of time, Kierstead awoke and called 9-1-1. He reported to the dispatcher that he had shot and killed his friend, whose body was in the driveway. Kierstead provided an address for his location as well as a description of the property, and reported that he had tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills. The dispatcher instructed Kierstead to go out on the porch and wait for police to arrive. Throughout the twelve-minute call, Kierstead was " calm but upset," repeatedly saying things to the effect of, " I can't believe this happened," and, " I ruined my life." He did not slur his speech or demonstrate any other signs of intoxication.
[¶5] Officer Kirk Guerrette of the Knox County Sheriff's Department responded to the address Kierstead had provided, and found Kierstead sitting on the porch and talking on the phone. Following Guerrette's instructions, Kierstead put his hands behind his back and, without stumbling or falling, began walking backward toward Guerrette. Guerrette asked where Mills was and how long he had been there, and Kierstead responded coherently and without slurring. Kierstead stood upright ...